C-SPAN Video Library to Open Doors to Network’s Entire Archive

CSPANVideoLibrary.jpgC-SPAN will announce Wednesday that its entire video archive — consisting of more than 160,000 hours and spanning five presidential administrations and 23 years — has been uploaded to its C-SPAN Video Library, The New York Times reported.

The public-affairs cable network’s archive staff is based in an office park in West Lafayette, Ind., working around the clock on two machines that can turn 16 hours of tapes into digital files per hour, according to the Times, and they are currently finishing the 1987 catalog.

C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb told the Times the C-SPAN Video Library is an extension of the network’s public-service commitment, saying, “That’s where the history will be,” and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow added:

(Having access to the C-SPAN Video Library is) like being able to Google political history using the “I Feel Lucky” button every time. It’s raw footage of political actors in their native habitat, without media personalities mediating viewers’ access.

And Hot Air senior correspondent Ed Morrissey told the Times:

The geek in me wants to find an excuse to start digging. (The archives make) for a really intriguing reference set. (The volume of videos) is so vast that finding valuable references may be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack.